28.3.10

SMOG : Strayed + Cow EP

Smog Strayed
Dongs Of Sevotion (I've always loathed that title!) was Bill Callahan's crossover LP. Released in 2000 to blanket enthusiastic reviews, it's the final Smog record that I had any real interest in though, on reflection, Bill & I were probably long overdue a parting of ways. I'd been closely following his cautious musical evolution since 1992's Forgotten Foundation (still one of my Smog favs) &, eight years/albums in, was in dire need of a change I think. "Strayed" was Dongs Of Sevotion's loss leader single, a curious choice to say the least. Lyrics like "I've raised a sick child to your lips &, in asking you to kiss what I would not kiss, I know I have strayed" were hardly likely to find favour with the Jo Whiley lunchtime massive, were they? Releasing a single at all struck me as being a pointlessly conventional gesture actually, so Callahan's decision to generously fill out it's b-side (on CD at least) with a reissue of his much sought-after Cow cassette was fine by me.

Originally released on his own Disaster label in 1989, it pre-dates his often dissonant Sewn To The Sky debut by a year or so & is, if anything, even more clumsy & primitive than that belligerently nil-fi effort. Though entirely instrumental, Callahan's reported interest in Jandek's work hereabouts is still frequently evident. Upon it's release here, Cow's eight original tracks were indexed as one to evade draconian British chart qualification regulations, as if some optimistic soul at Domino Records actually considered "Strayed" commercial enough to catapult Callahan into Gordon Smart's Bizarre column or something. They've been conveniently broken up song-by-song on this link though.

Anybody got Macrame Gunplay then?

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous1.6.10

    ive been after the cassetes Macrame gunplay / A Table Is Setting / Tired Tape Machine for years. do u whereabout i could dload them?
    cheers for this btw, was the first thing i bought by smog but i lost it. alanger@hotmail.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm, I'm not entirely convinced that those early tapes actually exist tbh, other than as a handful of copies given out to close friends anyway? Dunno anybody who's seen them, let alone heard them! Let me know if you find anything & I'll do the same, yup...?

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only of the early tapes I've found is Tired Tape Machine, at Soulseek. Thanks for the EP!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd really like to hear that! Could you blog it or send me the mp3s or something? Cheers... x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, here's Tired Tape Machine: http://www.mediafire.com/?54izjykiidk
    Enjoy, and feel free to share the link. Unfortunately, Macrame Gunplay and A Table... seem to be non-existent in the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir, that's an AWESOME share. Thanks very much! x

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring too. Smog was pretty much my favorite band all through high school and the 90's and I still have a big place in my heart for Bill. My story is exactly the same. I have been looking for those tapes (macrame, table setting) or even just info about them or pics or anything at all for like over 10 years! If anybody ever comes up with some answers let us all know!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. EXACTLY. You've downloaded Tired Tape Machine c/o the above link I assume? Was surprised to hear how much of Forgotten Foundation is on there! I'm gonna put up a bona fide T.T.T. post shortly btw...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous23.7.10

    You've no idea how LONG i've been searching for Tired Tape Machine!!.. Thanks.. downloading it now!!..
    Anything else let me know.. Bill must have something under his bed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anon, if you ever discover Macrame Gunplay (etc...) you know EXACTLY what to do, right?

    ReplyDelete
  11. would it be possible to upload this again or send a link to me?

    ReplyDelete